Frank D. Blum graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a B.S. in Chemistry in 1976 and an M.S. in 1977 in Physical Chemistry. He obtained his Ph.D. in 1981 from the University of Minnesota. In 2010, he moved to the Oklahoma State University as the Harrison I. Bartlett Chair, and Professor and Chair of Chemistry. Frank has held permanent positions at Drexel University and the University of Missouri-Rolla. He has also held visiting positions at IBM in San Jose, California, USA, and at Lund University in Lund, Sweden.
Frank’s research interests are in the areas of materials science and surface chemistry with a focus on polymers. Frank has received two Exxon Education Foundation Awards and an Alcoa Foundation Award. He has also received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Eastern Illinois University. He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and the Division of Polymer Chemistry, Inc. He has served his profession as Secretary and Chair of the Division of Polymer Chemistry of the American Chemical Society (ACS) which honored him with Distinguished Service and Special Service Awards. He has been Councilor of ACS for over 20 years and formerly Chairs of the ACS Committees on Nominations and Elections and Divisional Activities.
Frank's research interests lie primarily in the areas of properties of adsorbed polymers and conducting polymer nanocomposites. His group is researching how the physical properties of polymers change when they are adsorbed on solid substrates. Researchers use nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, thermal analysis, and other physical property measurements for their assessment. This work is relevant to composite and electronic materials. The group also is developing the synthesis techniques for making nanorod-like conducting polymers with embedded metal nanoparticles for sensor and memory applications.